Quartet (12A)

Film

Comedy

Quartet.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Dec 18 2012

If the point-blank treatment of old age and mortality in this year’s French arthouse hit ‘Amour’ makes you nervous, here’s the cuddly British version – with songs. ‘Quartet’ has been adapted by screenwriter Ronald Harwood (‘The Pianist’) from his own 1999 play, and essentially it’s a country-house, putting-on-a-play drama. Only the house is a care home for retired actors and singers, and the stumbling blocks to first-night glory are the side-effects of ageing. The gentle conundrum is whether four residents of Beecham House – Jean (Maggie Smith, pictured left), Wilf (Billy Connolly), Cissy (Pauline Collins, pictured right) and Reggie (Tom Courtenay) – will overcome their problems to perform the quartet from Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’ at a benefit gig for their home. It’s a light, fruity film – complete with Michael Gambon flitting around in a silk dressing gown and fez. Dustin Hoffman, directing for the first time, draws endearing performances from his cast, and a host of supporting actors played by singers and musicians grounds its more farcical and rarefied elements in white-haired reality.
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Release details

Rated:

12A

UK release:

Fri Jan 4, 2013

Duration:

98 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Dustin Hoffman

Cast:

Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon

Users say

0
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:13
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:9
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|58
1 person listening
Alan J

'Quartet' = Schmaltz / Mills & Boon for the ancients , [of which I am one ]

Paul

Yes, I wanted to walked out too and leave the Darby & Joan audience to their big bight out of the year. Big UK names on the screen let down by a small made for tv like story and delivery.Very bored and underwhelmed apart from the Taplow setting.

Sheila

Sorry I didnt like this film. I wanted to. I was hoping it had a original, perhaps comic, take on old age but it didnt . Yes, lots of staring into the distance. Acting was fine but script poor and too slow.

John J

I was really looking forward to this film but it just wasn't for me. Very average, boring in fact. Perhaps the first time I've drifted off to sleep in a cinema. I hope I didn't snore - I'm sure some of the audience enjoyed it and hate to think I may have spoiled their enjoyment.

Genie

After posting my review, started to read others. I'm pretty appalled by comments about reviewers who dissent. We are all entitled to our opinions. Just because I didn't like it but YOU did, doesn't make me an idiot/made of concrete/hard-hearted etc as other people have posted. Just because YOU liked it, I wouldn't call you names.

Genie

Saw it this afternoon. Ac tually fell asleep a few times. Like someone else, the best bit were the credits which featured the real-life musicians/actors. This film could have been so much more, but it was just pedestrian. I'm going into that age group - but the harping on about age and the dreary plot just grated. There was also an awful lot of staring into the distance/each other's eyes.... tedious.

Margaret

I saw the film with three friends of like age - all of whom lit on dffferent highlights - but all of whom (like me) thoroughly enjoyed it. Kath's comment around the range of people who populate retirement villages is , in my opinion, spot on. The cameo incidents around access in one's lifetime to a window seat and ultimate frustration around not being served marmalade at breakfast - were wonderful. It is equally possible that former 'partners in life' end up in the same retirement space. I found Tom Courtney and Maggie Smith superb.

Margaret

I saw the film with three friends of like age - all of whom lit on dffferent highlights - but all of whom (like me) thoroughly enjoyed it. Kath's comment around the range of people who populate retirement villages is , in my opinion, spot on. The cameo incidents around access in one's lifetime to a window seat and ultimate frustration around not being served marmalade at breakfast - were wonderful. It is equally possible that former 'partners in life' end up in the same retirement space. I found Tom Courtney and Maggie Smith superb.

Jim

To Fiona Macvie. Yes, there was a happy ending at the cinema for me too ... when the final credits ground to a shuddering halt on this complete mish-mash of a film, I was first out the exit door (after much pushing and shoving) back in the car, and on my way home. Bliss.

Fiona Macvie

I really enjoyed this film - nice music, good actors and a happy ending! Good to include real retired musicians amongst the cast. Not intellectually challenging but nice light entertainment. Best for those "of a certain age"

Fiona Macvie

I really enjoyed this film - nice music, good actors and a happy ending! Good to include real retired musicians amongst the cast. Not intellectually challenging but nice light entertainment. Best for those "of a certain age"

kath

Hi Peter, I did not refer to viewer age at all - I think many people with imagination would like the movie - but I did forget to put in my star rating.

kath

Hi Peter, I did not refer to viewer age at all - I think many people with imagination would like the movie - but I did forget to put in my star rating.

kiaora

when to see it last night, with all the musicians in the film, i was very disappointed, very poor use of the talent available.

Pat

Through comedy and occasional moments of pain, dementia is shown As a previous carer, I know that there can be loss of memory, less control over sexual impulses and a realisation of losing the plot for those in different stages of the complaint. That in the film comes across in a mainly comedy fahion. It can be but essentially isn't. Older people like me deserve better.

Mike

Fabulous film, laughed and cried in equal measure but only those of a certain age can fully appreciate the demands of our twilight years. Arrogant young critics may not fully understand the beauty in this film's simplicity for many years. A must see twice film for 2013!

Mike

Fabulous film, laughed and cried in equal measure but only those of a certain age can fully appreciate the demands of our twilight years. Arrogant young critics may not fully understand the beauty in this film's simplicity for many years. A must see twice film for 2013!

Jane

What a disappointment. My friends and I went with high hopes having loved Best Marigold Hotel & looking forward to seeing a great cast. But....it never really got going, was full of cliches, slow and predictable. I had expected so much more - we are three women ranging from 50 - 70 & felt the only performance to be applauded was Pauline Collins. Sorry.

Mike

I understand the differences of opinion. I thought that the film was mediocre while my companion liked it a lot. A pity that Billy Connelly - wonderful in 'Mrs Brown' - had smutty lines and that Ronald Harwood so brilliant a scriptwriter in 'The Dresser' and an award winner with 'The Pianist' came up with something far inferior here.

Hazel

a very bewildering film. It should have been great considering the stars in it, but, unfortunately it was'nt funny or particularly sad. Sorry, just about watchable on a cold afternoon.

James

Yes Chris, I do agree with your comment. This film IS 'pathetic' with no real content or meaning, and a very weak and laboured script. However, I would imagine that it could appeal to maybe less demanding film goers, but it most definitely did nothing for me either, I'm afraid.

Margaret

Film with no real story unless it was trying to persuade a reluctant singer to take part. the shot of the house at the end with rich voices ringing our was a real cop out. Disappointed!......

Karen

I went to see this last night and was quite disappointed. It was very slow to start and I didn't find the script or story particularly funny or clever. Lots of predictable cliches and odd little bits of bad language that I think were supposed to be funny/shocking but just came over as very awkward and out of context. Some wonderful actors and actresses who didn't really get a chance to shine.

Janet

No Paul, you're not missing anything. As you say you have a discerning gene and prefer something more intellectual from a film. I'm not that young, like music and can understand the problems of ageing but this is a feeble film that will appeal to those that don't get out to the cinema much. As for other posts containing comments about great acting - what great acting?? No matter how many times I see Maggie Smith etc in supposedly different roles they can play the part one way. I bet there's hardly any difference in the way they play a part and they way they are in real life.

Paul

Really, not a good film. Only Tom Courtnay came out of it with any credit - by playing it straight. The script was awful, you could hear the 'hilarious' bitchy put-downs coming minutes before the lines were delivered. OK, it made points about valuing old age, living for the future etc but so many films have done it better and with infinitely greater subtlety. I was in a cinema full of people who were mostly laughing, am I missing something or is it that I possess a discerning gene?

TONY

i cannot understand the divers reviews for this masterpiece of a film!! we enjoyed every second. the acting, direction, story & soundtrack was superb!! you have to be made of concrete not to enjoy this film.

TONY

i cannot understand the divers reviews for this masterpiece of a film!! we enjoyed every second. the acting, direction, story & soundtrack was superb!! you have to be made of concrete not to enjoy this film.

Yasmeen

Wonderfully entertaining - very moving. Great job done by all, especially Dustin Hoffman. This is oscar material !

Yasmeen

Wonderfully entertaining - very moving. Great job done by all, especially Dustin Hoffman. This is oscar material !

John

Terrible or non existent script, tedious Billy Conolly. Ludicrously luxurious Downton Abbey style retirement home, I love opera but could not stand this.

Peter

Saw the film this afternoon,first hour was quite boring and depressing,very cliched,inappropriate bad language,Billy Connely was annoying,saved only by the acting of Tom Courtney,Michael Gambon and Maggie Smith who despite the Downton Dowager insert by the Director made the last 20 minutes of the film with Tom Courtney worth the ticket money.Like others the expected Grand Finale with the quartet singing(well miming) was not to be very overhyped film I'm afraid.

kaz

I found this film, delightful and enchanting. Made me want to laugh and cry. Excellent performances from the four leads and so good to see Tom Courtenay on the big screen again. Billy Connolly's comic timing is spot on and Maggie Smith and Pauline Collins do not disappoint. Also as a 40 plus female it felt good to be one of the youngest in the audience instead of one of the oldest! Recommend this film to a more mature audience

Nana

A delightful film, funny and sad. Perhaps you do need to be of a certain age to appreciate the subleties in the script. The outward plot is almost irrelevant, the real storyline is one of relentless aging and how people cope with it. The 4 main characters all display a different aspect of aging and support each other - wonderful acting. Perhaps if you're young you will be disappointed in this film but I loved it.

Nana

A delightful film, funny and sad. Perhaps you do need to be of a certain age to appreciate the subleties in the script. The outward plot is almost irrelevant, the real storyline is one of relentless aging and how people cope with it. The 4 main characters all display a different aspect of aging and support each other - wonderful acting. Perhaps if you're young you will be disappointed in this film but I loved it.

Laallalu

Utterly boring first half, picks up a little in the second. How a director can bring down such talent (the actors) into vapid cliches and overslow development of the central idea is beyond belief - Dustin Hoffman had better stick to acting - so I hope. He might have stood a better chance if the editing had been more roothless. As it stands I feel it was a waste of my evening. Comment posted by an opera lover.

Libby S

A real feel good film about the hopes and fears of growing old. Tom Courtenay in particular was brilliant - a poignant and touching performance. Definitely a film for those who understand or want to understand what those of advancing years face. Overall I was cheered by the message that at the age of 80 there is still a future to look forward to

Libby S

A real feel good film about the hopes and fears of growing old. Tom Courtenay in particular was brilliant - a poignant and touching performance. Definitely a film for those who understand or want to understand what those of advancing years face. Overall I was cheered by the message that at the age of 80 there is still a future to look forward to

Merrittpr

Was a bit of a slow starter that didn't really get going for me. Trailers seemed to show most of the entertaining parts. Still it was easy going and worth the £2.50 it cost me at the plaza!

Alan

A light, amusing, entertaining film which will make you laugh and cry in equal measure. A joy to watch on a winters afternoon. Uplifting. (Ignore the naysayers they are curmudgeons)

Alan

A light, amusing, entertaining film which will make you laugh and cry in equal measure. A joy to watch on a winters afternoon. Uplifting. (Ignore the naysayers they are curmudgeons)

Peter

An outstanding piece of acting by several of the greatest actors of bith screen and stage. Billy Connolly was his usual brilliant self, Maggie Smith was quite perfect in her role. Tom Courtney gave a superlative performance of the rejected husband still deeply in love with hid lost wife. Pauline Collins brought sweetness and sadness to us in appreciating fading memory while Michael Gambon was his usual self completely in control and a master of all who surrounded him ! Not to enjoy this film would betray a real lack of taste. Superlative.

Peter

An outstanding piece of acting by several of the greatest actors of bith screen and stage. Billy Connolly was his usual brilliant self, Maggie Smith was quite perfect in her role. Tom Courtney gave a superlative performance of the rejected husband still deeply in love with hid lost wife. Pauline Collins brought sweetness and sadness to us in appreciating fading memory while Michael Gambon was his usual self completely in control and a master of all who surrounded him ! Not to enjoy this film would betray a real lack of taste. Superlative.

sticky

Just as disappointing as 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel', except in Quartet there is a very light script but as with 'Marigold' there are too many caricatures. Fine acting though from Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon and, in particular, Tom Courtenay. Can't say the same though about Pauline Collins and especially Billy Connolly's embarrassing turn. As many people have commented, I was at least expecting to see some good miming to the finale...but no, nothing! Very few laughs to be had, even in the pensioner-dominated audiotorium where I was, yet (just like another reviewer said) they also gave it a round of applause at the end! Bizarre....

Jim

I was really looking forward to enjoying this much-hyped film, but for me it was completely spoiled by the over-indulgence of Billy Connolly in his vain attempts to 'steal' every scene! The real stars were the supporting cast ... genuine real-life musicians and singers who added the character and depth to a very plodding script. A hugely disappointing experience.

RobynK

Saw it today and absolutely loved it. Warm, loving, humorous and poignant. Best of all, the wonderful performances from an 18-carat A-list cast. Perhaps one needs to be no longer youthful to appreciate the subtleties of the script and, indeed, the actors. As a connoisseur of fine acting, be assured that it is first-rate, with Maggie Smith nothing less than sublime, Tom Courtenay a close second, Pauline Collins charming and, as a victim of encroaching dementia, convincing. The settings are glorious. Granted Dustin's debut is marred by a rather plodding and one-note openi9ng 15 minutes, but after that it all clicks gloriously into place. I agree that fans of the \Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Downton Abbey will adore it, but I hope it has a wider appeal than that. Four stars, because it's no more than a charming chamber film.

Ralph

Spent the first half wondering if I could leave without upsetting too many people| The next half resigned to watching in its entirety but could not get over the fact that we did not hear the final performance save a recording featuring, I suspect, Pavarotti! I can't recall him actually featuring in the film.

zophia

Saw this film yesterday, was a bit dissappointed to be honest. Billy connolly never fails to make me laugh and i adore Maggie Smith. The audience was mainly OAPs who were tittering here and there. I thought that like many of the Homes occupants the film limped along. Ending was hugely dissappointing, I was expecting a blast of singing which was I thought was the whole idea of the gala, instead it just kind of ended. A waste of talented actors.

ANNE

Just seen this firm .Very watchable ,poignant .Beautiful performances by all the cast .Pauline Collins portrayal of a character with dementia was very very accurate and underrated by reviewers in general .Tom Courtney and Billy Connolly in their white tie and tails are handsome pin-ups for the pensioners! The group we sat beside giggled like 5 year olds.More please!

Lizzie P

Janet - I will watch with interest to see if your comment mysteriously disappears from this site as mine did. I agree that this film is dire. I would also like to add that I am indeed a music lover - including opera - but the problem is I am also a film lover.

Gitali

Excellent film - very well made. A nice postscript to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which depicts a possible forthcoming fate of graying 'commoners' in rich countries - this one is for the graying people of distinction. All said and done, an absolute delight to watch (certainly for music-lovers)....

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